I’m a true believer in giving a reward for accomplishments. Rewards promote further achievement and give you a sense of accomplishment. One way I reward myself is with a massage. A massage is a treat but it is also important for your health. Massages are great rehab for your mind and body. There are many ways a simple massage can benefit your well being:

• Enhances the body’s natural defense system by stimulating lymph flow.

• Exercises and stretches weak and tired muscles.

• Improves your skin by exfoliating, moisturizing and gets rid of toxins

• Releases endorphins, which promote positive mood, help with anxiety, decrease depression, and act as natural painkillers.

• Increases oxygen and nutrients in tissues, which improves circulation.

• Helps muscles recover.

• Reduces fatigue.

• Promotes quality sleep.

• Helps PMS symptoms such as moodiness, cramping and water retention.

• Increases flexibility.

• Helps control blood pressure.

Getting a massage is a great way to increase good health and decrease medication dependence. So think of it as “doctor’s orders!”

A few types of massages:

• Swedish Massage: Light to medium pressure that is used to relieve stress, reduce pain, boost mood and promote relaxation

• Deep Tissue Massage: Focuses on the deepest layer of muscle to target knots and release chronic muscle tension. My personal favorite!

• Reflexology: Massages areas in the hands and feet, which relieves stress, feet and ankle conditions and promotes overall relaxation.

• Hot Stone: Promotes deeper muscle relaxation through the placement of heated stones on key points on the body. It helps with tension, muscle stiffness, circulation and metabolism.

To make sure you get a good massage, do not be afraid to be honest and communicate with your therapist. Let them know what you like and the degree of pressure you prefer.

Note: To get a less expensive massage, ask for a package deal or go to a massage school.